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Indonesian Quran teacher charged with raping 12 boys

Arrest follows another multiple rape case in which a boarding school teacher was sentenced to death

Indonesian Quran teacher charged with raping 12 boys

Muslim students read the Quran at an Islamic boarding school in Medan, Indonesia, on April 3. (Photo: AFP)

Published: April 19, 2022 09:21 AM GMT

Updated: April 19, 2022 09:53 AM GMT

Indonesian police have arrested and charged a Quran teacher with raping at least 12 boys at an Islamic boarding school in West Java province.

Bandung District Police chief Kusworo Wibowo told reporters on April 18 that the teacher, who was not named, was arrested following an investigation after the family of one alleged victim filed a complaint against him in early March.

He said the 39-year-old teacher at an Islamic school in the district, who is also a father of three, attacked the boys aged 10-11 over a five-year period from 2017 up until the time of his arrest this week.

The attacks took place while the boys were studying the Quran, often in the evenings.

Wibowo said further investigations would be carried out, adding there could be more victims who have yet to come forward. “We are appealing for people to submit complaints if they are victims,” he said.

He also said the suspect could face up to 15 years in prison if found guilty.

The case thrust the issue of sexual abuse in Islamic boarding schools into the spotlight, prompting calls for harsher penalties against offenders

The arrest follows the sentencing earlier this month of another Islamic boarding school teacher from Bandung for raping students.

On April 4, Herry Wirawan, a 36-year-old teacher at an Islamic boarding school, was sentenced to death by the Bandung High Court for raping 13 female underage students, eight of whom he made pregnant.

The case thrust the issue of sexual abuse in Islamic boarding schools into the spotlight, prompting calls for harsher penalties against offenders.  

Azas Tigor Nainggolan, a lawyer and coordinator of the Indonesian bishops’ advocacy and human rights desk, said 15 years for such high-profile crimes that left many victims was not severe enough. “In cases like this, it must be a life term,” he said.

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